Advance Romance

Notes and Comments

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I can't stand it no more

Told me she loved me
I believed what she said
Took me for a sucker, boy
From: (Cliff Heller)
  Corn-fed basically means "fat". Refers to pigs and cows who are fattened for the kill on corn, but often used in reference to people.
From: (Joe Hartley)
  In terms of pigs and cattle, corn-fed indicates that they weren't fattened for slaughter with just any old feed, but with corn. It's more expensive, but you get a fatter, tastier pig. As a slang term, it indicates someone who's fat, dumb and happy.
From: Evil Bob <>
  You're both wrong - sorta. In fact, the term "corn-fed" is old music slang from the days of swing and is still used in some quarters. A "corn-fed" musician is one who came up through the ranks via working with professional symphony orchestras.
  Now, there is also a little-known slang phrase: "Corn-fed sucker", which is just a colorful colloquialism for "sucker" and this is the primary interpretation of this lyric. But, as with many FZ lyrics he most certainly chose his words with great care so as to have several different shadings (and said so in a number of interviews). If one interpretation is lyrically vague it will often be referenced or reflected musically. This is what's happening in this bit of lyric.
  The "hip jazz-cat" interpretation of the term "Corn-fed" is supported by the blindingly fast music which appears just after this phrase in many arrangements of this song. The fact that this musical reference appears in the middle of a phrase which lyrically has nothing to do with the music might seem to be just plain old AAAFNRAA, but as I have demonstrated (at my customary great length) this ain't necessarily so.
  There are other references to this kind of "hip jazz cat" slang in FZ's material. A number of examples are found in Yo Cats:
"Get your fiddle, get your bow
play some footballs on your hole"
  This refers to a session violinist who gets the extremely easy and high-paying job of playing whole notes (which in music look like footballs) while keeping the bow level with the widest part of the violin's "F-holes" (F-shaped carvings in the body of the instrument through which the air in the instrument gets out to interact with the surrounding air for the benefit of people who are impatiently waiting to sip overpriced cheap wine and be seen at intermission). The reason one would play "on your hole" is because the loudest and most resonant sound you can normally get out of an instrument of the violin family is to play with the bow level with the F-holes.
"Saxophone, clarinet
How many doubles can you get?"
  This refers to the probably forced hiring of one union musician (due to "special union rules") to cover both the sax and clarinet parts (a "double date") that way the musician makes more money than he would if he had played only one part.
  There are additionally a shitload of places in FZ's music where you fully understand the lyrics yet you're missing out on a whole dimension if you're not familiar with the musical reference happening at the same time. An excellent example occurs in "Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch" at the point in the lyrics wherein it is written:
"For some kind of ritual sacrifice"
  Going on behind this lyric is a famous quotation from Stravinsky's "Rite Of Spring" (which ends with a "Sacrificial Dance").
From: David Butler <>
  I'm surprised no-one has mentioned my favorite aspect of the "corn-fed" line, which is a nifty bit of musical (as opposed to verbal) CC. The funny noise right after that line is almost identical to the sound that accompanies the "...spewed upon with creamed corn" line on the Fillmore East album , a combination of twiddly notes on the organ and some sort of low-pitched percussion fluttering. So apparently that's the "corn" of those CC things that has no deep meaning, as far as I can tell. Just FZ having fun, throwing in a little musical joke for the amusement of loyal fans who listen closely.
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She took George's watch
Like they always do
(It was a
Timex, too!)
From: (Johannes Labisch)
  They were very popular at that time.
From: (Cliff Heller)
  They were semi-valuable when they first came out.
guitar solo
From: Charles Ulrich <>
  Beefheart's exclamation "Chicken was never like this!" (during the guitar solo in Advance Romance) is a quote from Bacon Fat by Andre Williams.
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Potato-head Bobby
From: Vladimir Sovetov <>
  He got slabbering drank at Palomino and they gave him thirty days in San Ber'dino.
  Also in another incarnation is Thing-Fish and De Mammy Nuns
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was a friend of mine
Open three of his eyes
In the food stamp line
Open four of his eyes
In the food stamp line
Open five of his eyes
In the food stamp line
Open six of his eyes
In the
food stamp line
From: (Cliff Heller)
Food Stamps is a welfare type program for feeding the poor. In England: Dole Queue.
From: (Joe Hartley)
  Food stamps are an American invention; rather than give our poor people actual money, we give 'em vouchers that we call food stamps that they can buy food with, and not much else.
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She had frenched his fry
From: (Johannes Labisch)
  French fries. Fried potato sticks
  (You can see them forming the word "Thing Fish" on the cover of "Thing Fish".)
From: (Cliff Heller)
  In america we call them French Fries. The French call them pommes frites, the Belgians call them just frites, The Dutch patat frites?, The English call them Chips. Each nation claims to have invented them, but in the U.S. we credit the French. No one knows why.
From: Colin Gateley <>
  I always took this to be a poetic reference to The Blow Job.... and, sure enough - my Concise Oxford backs me up on this - "French . . . (sl.) fellatio".

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